Do your Sims live in a poorly insulated box with no air circulation, no heat source in the winter, lights that magically turn on and off, and utilities that aren’t metered? Well, they don’t have to! Use custom content to add little touches of realism to your Sims 2 homes.
Heating & Cooling System
Long ago, in the days of yore, there lived a Simmer named Raynuss who created amazing and realistic custom content for the Sims 2. One of my favorite creations is the Home Comfort System. This content used to be hosted on Sim Pearls, but since it’s almost impossible to register there now, I’ve uploaded it to my Mega account (includes all add-ons). Alternately, you can download it from my Mediavine or Sim File Share accounts.
The download includes:
- Water Heater
- Wall Air Conditioner
- Central Heat and Air System
- Roof Top Air Conditioners
- Heating and Cooling Vents
- Other heating/cooling stuff
You can find all of these items in miscellaneous appliances (ac units and vents) or miscellaneous plumbing (radiator and hot water heater) in the buy mode catalog.
The rooftop air conditioners are great for businesses and large community lots, but I mostly use the wall air conditioner and central heat/air unit with wall vents on my residential lots. I also like putting water heaters in basements and utility closets in my Sim’s homes.
Here are some ideas of how to use this content. First, I put a central heat/air system on every one of my homes.
Next, I add vents to the inside of my homes. Make sure to read the description of the wall vents – one is for heat only and one is for cooling only. I prefer to use the floor vent because it provides warm and/or cold air – depending on what your Sim needs.
And these vents actually work! Sims will warm or cool themselves on the vents if they get too cold or too hot. Here’s Dick Caliendo of Fairplay to demonstrate:
Here’s the wall air conditioner placed in a window of one of my homes. I like using these for smaller homes or poor Sims who can’t afford an entire central heat/air system:
There’s a lot more in this set you can play around with, such as air handlers, radiators, a hot water heater, furnace, furnace piping, and a heating oil tank. I use these less frequently than the examples above, but they’re still useful on certain types of lots.
Thermostat & Electrical Outlets
Now that your Sims have a fancy new heating and cooling system, how will they control the temperature? With a thermostat of course!
- Electrical Outlets
- Coaxial Cable
- Telephone Jack
All of these are decorative only – meaning you can’t actually use the thermostat to change the temperature or plug anything into the outlets – but they at least make it look like your Sims have some control over their environment. Find them under deco > wall hangings in the catalog.
I place a thermostat in every one of my homes with a central heat/air unit. There are recolors for different temperatures, but I like 72 degrees.
You can use the [ and ] keys on your keyboard to shift the thermostat up and down on the wall if you need to. I like to put it in a central location where it’s easy for the whole family to “use” – such as in the living room, den, or a large hallway.
I also place electrical outlets near all of my Sim’s appliances, TVs, computers, lamps, or anything else that uses electricity. Since we don’t have actual cords coming from our electricity-using objects, we can pretend it’s wireless….I guess. I don’t know. Suspend belief, people. It’s a game.
The electrical outlets with the red button on them are counter-height and I place them in bathrooms (for hair dryers and other real or imagined bathroom appliances) and in kitchens for plugging in microwaves, toasters, etc. To place the bathroom outlets as close to mirrors as possible, I use the cheat “setquartertileplacement on” and sometimes “boolprop snapobjectstogrid off.”
I honestly don’t use the coaxial cable or telephone jack much, but I think you can figure out what to do with those.
Part one of Living Dead Girl’s Wall Clutter set includes several different light switches:
- Single light switch
- Dimmer switch
- Double switch with dimmer
- Double light switch
- Triple light switch
You can also find these in deco > wall hangings in the catalog. They cost anywhere from $19 – $39 each.
I LOVE these and use them in every single lot in my game – residential and community. For added realism, I count the number of lights in a room and use the appropriate number of light switches. For example, a small bathroom or office may need only a single light switch. A large, open kitchen/living room area may need a double or triple switch.
I also like to account for outdoor lights like those around doors and porches. I place my switches near doors as they usually are in real homes. Other good places to put them are at the top and bottom of staircases. As with the thermostat, you can use the [ and ] keys to move your light switches up and down on the walls as needed.
Utility Boxes (Outdoor)
I don’t think my homes would be truly realistic without the addition of utility boxes. There are the metal boxes attached to the sides of most buildings that meter the usage of electricity and water.
These electric/utility boxes were originally created by Living Dead Girl (see her originals here), but I like the revamped version by Mustluvcatz. They include several smaller boxes that I like for residential lots and recolors – including a rusty one for your rundown lots. You can find them in miscellaneous deco in the buy mode catalog.
I place utility boxes on all my residential and community lots. For houses, I like to cluster a couple of the smaller ones together – usually somewhere near the air conditioning unit.
For apartment lots, I place larger clusters of boxes – with at least one for each apartment unit. This is so each apartment can be billed for utilities separately.
Of course, these boxes don’t actually do anything. They’re also just decorative like the light switches and thermostat. But I like to imagine they’re being used to calculate my Sim’s electricity and water bills.
Toilet Paper Roll Holders
And finally, I’ve left the best for last – toilet paper holders! I have no idea why this was left out of The Sims 2, but I NEED toilet paper for my Sims. Yeah, they don’t actually use it, but it’s all blurred out when they go to the bathroom. So you can pretend. (Unless you’re a creep like me and you remove the blur.)
My favorite toilet paper roll is this one by Windkeeper. It’s simple and looks great in-game. Find it in miscellaneous deco in the buy mode catalog.
If you need to move it around on the wall, try using the “snapobjectstogrid false” cheat to position it where you want it. Unfortunately, you can’t move it up and down with the bracket keys because it’s considered a sculpture and not a wall hanging.
Those are my top picks for the best custom content to make your Sims 2 homes more realistic. I’d love to hear from you! Do you use these in your game? Or do you use some other CC to add more realism to your lots? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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